• new-leaderboard-searchamelia2016

Interesting Tax Tip

Interesting Tax TipWell, it looks like the IRS will get you coming and going. My cousin just informed me of a service fee she almost paid in addition to the taxes she owed the Internal Revenue Service this year.

She and her husband file their taxes via e-file, as do many other people. This is the third year they have owed taxes at the end of the year, but this year it was different.

When she went to pay the tax bill with her DEBIT card, it read that if you pay by CREDIT or DEBIT you will be charged a percentage of what you owe, in addition to the tax debt.

This could have cost my cousin nearly $100.00 in an extra service charge from the IRS.

The remedy? Simply mail them a check.

Good luck and don’t forget to file your taxes by April 15, 2014.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!




SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Charitable Tax Tips From the IRS for 2012

Charitable Tax Tips From the IRS for 2012This is a popular time of the year to make a donation to your favorite charity and the IRS has some 2012 tax tips for your charitable donations:

“As 2012 comes to a close, individuals and businesses need to remember some key tax provisions for making contributions to charity. The IRS offers these reminders for year-end giving:

    -To deduct monetary donations you must have a bank record or written document from the charity stating the name of the charity, the contribution amount and the date.
    -Contributions are deductible in the year made, even if the credit card bill isn’t paid or the check isn’t cashed until 2013.
    -Only donations made to qualified organizations are tax deductible. Make sure the organization you want to donate to is qualified before making any contribution.
    -Individuals must itemize their deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A or use a short form (Form 1040A and 1040EZ) to claim the standard deduction.

Find more year-end giving tips from the IRS HERE.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!




SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Keeping Florida Our Home Sweet Home, Part 2

Keeping Florida Our Home Sweet Home, Part 2Contributed By: Marty Winchester

In light of the recent tax relief bill and subsequent budget cuts to Florida’s water systems, homeowners are becoming more aware of the need for energy efficiency and conservation. As we discussed in Keeping Florida Our Home Sweet Home Part 1, the bill designed to relieve the tax burden of property owners is cause for concern for the environment, partially because of the cuts made to the Everglades Foundation.

Another reason citizens are concerned about the bill is job loss. The water service center in Stuart will be closing and as a result, its 25-35 employees will either be laid off or relocated to West Palm Beach. While that may seem like a small number of jobs, 10% of the residents of Stuart (population: 14,000) already lives below the poverty line; the cost of living is higher in Stuart than the national average.

One way to counter-balance the issues imposed by the tax relief bill is for homeowners to make improvements to their homes for the sake of the environment. In doing so, you can potentially lighten the burden of your income tax more significantly than the property tax bill, which will save Florida homeowners less than $100 a year on average.

To date, the energy-efficiency tax credits cover:

    Insulation – 10% of cost up to $500
    Roofing – 10% of cost up to $500
    HVAC – tiered credits range from $50 – $300

    Water heaters
    Non-solar – $300 credit
    Solar – 30% of cost, no upper limit

    Windows, Doors and Skylights – 10% of cost, $200 cap for windows.
    Geothermal Heat Pumps – 30% of cost, no upper limit
    Wind Energy Systems – 30% of cost, no upper limit
    Fuel Cells – 30% of cost, up to $500 per .5 kW of power capacity
    Biomass Stoves – $300 credit

Depending on the situation, a homeowner may also qualify for tax rebates up to $1,000 for hiring a certified energy rater and licensed contractor. While you can’t give the Stuart service center employees their jobs back, you can make a statement by providing work for the environmentally conscious. EnergyStar offers tips for finding “green” contractors and specialists.

Unfortunately, most of the energy efficiency tax credits are only available to homeowners upgrading their primary residence. The only upgrades the tax credit covers for second homes are solar energy systems, geothermal heat pumps, and small wind turbines. The good news is that residential and commercial property managers are being given new incentives to go green because of the Better Buildings Initiative and other proposals made by the White House early this year. Congress is working to create tax incentives for property owners in a way that will also create jobs.

Keeping Florida Our Home Sweet Home, Part 1

Keeping Florida Our Home Sweet Home, Part 1Contributed By: Marty Winchester

A shadow of doubt cast over the typically booming real estate market in the Sunshine state is finally lifting. After months of debate, the Florida Legislature met in mid-June for a Special Session lasting three days; after three days in session, legislators announced the result of their massive brainstorm. A $210 million property tax relief bill had been signed and would take effect for Floridian taxpayers in the 2012 tax season.

To balance their state budget, the Florida Legislature is making cuts from water districts that will result in job loss for a yet unreported number of workers. But jobs are not the only sacrifice that the water district will have to make – many are concerned about changes to the quality of the water as well as budgeting for state park restoration projects.

Katherine Aponte is one such concerned party. “If we’re going to have bad water, it’s not worth it.”

Kirk Fordham, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, fears the worst for Florida’s waterways and calls the bill “a slap in the face”. The Everglades park system has already faced deep budget cuts once this month from the House Appropriations committee.

In a state where tourism is king, a lot of outside revenue pours in for cute animated characters and thrilling rides. Amelia Island, however, relies on the rich scenery and sport to be had by its beach-goers whether in a kayak or behind a fishing pole. Droughts in Southern Florida paint a bleak picture for the future of state parks and, perhaps, the future of its booming tourism industry.

As the most subtropical state on the mainland, Florida is home to over 67 species of animals on the Federal endangered lists. Even though the bill has already been signed, residents concerned with preserving Florida’s native assets can start making conservation efforts at home. Federal tax cuts apply to many homeowners who seek to make their homes more “green” but there are limitations and hoops to jump through.

Look for part 2 of Keeping Florida Our Home Sweet Home next week, when we overview the tax season of 2012’s tax cuts you’ll want to jump on now, including the most “green” improvements for living spaces, rental properties and vacation homes.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!




SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!